Wednesday 28 March 2012

Movement - the 5th Life Principle

We all have a body and in most cases we can move. It has tremendous benefit, if we tune into what movement is right for us. It helps the heart work better, it helps to detoxify the body, it aids digestion, repair, it helps keep us moving!

Movement helps -
Breathing - If you are seated most of the day the tendency is to breath with your shoulders and chest predominately, and you will be getting only a fraction of the oxygen you need for your to cells to work optimally. Moving regularly can help your abdominal diaphragm (main muscle for breathing and stability) work better, which aids with digestion, detoxification, and blood flow.

The biological oscillators – Brain, heart, small intestine. These vital organs work like 3 pendulums, entraining each other and when all are in good order they work in synchronicity. Exercise helps to balance the use of the brain (working)with the pumping of the heart (moving), and the small intestine (digestion and breathing).

The pumps – pelvic floor, abdominal muscles, diaphragm. Exercise also helps to keep these 3 pumps working, allowing the flow of message down your spine and around our nervous system, stabilising and allowing intense heavy lifting, and helping with the control of elimination.

Types of exercise fall into two categories
Working in exercises - These help to redistribute energy from tight muscles, overactive organs to areas of low energy in the body. They help us feel energised and balanced. Examples of exercise that uses working in exercise - Yoga, slow walking, tai chi, qi gong, stretching. Use these type of exercises when you feel tired are stressed, and to aid digestion immediately after a meal.

Working out exercises - These are exercises that break the body down, in order that it can rebuild itself stronger to move more powerfully, quickly or efficiently. They include sporting activities, weight training, running, cycling.

If you overdo the working out exercises you will not feel the benefits of movement as I have discussed above, although you may look good, you won't feel that way.
Take time each morning to take your waking heart rate (whilst still in bed) for 1 week to get an average. If your waking heart rate is 5 or above its average on any day, only perform working in exercise on that day. By performing this simple daily check, you will get all the benefits and non of the pain of exercise.

Thursday 22 March 2012

Life Principle 4: Are you we truly what we eat?

Well, no we aren't - We are what we eat, digest, absorb, assimilate (make things), and don't excrete.

This may sound pedantic, but one of the most common problems are those associated with the Gut, and this is where most of these things occur (we assimilate once the food has gone through the gut wall, and passed through the liver, and into the blood stream).

The gut is designed to be a huge long protective, and absorptive organ, that keeps out the bad and absorbs only what is usable to the body (with the help of the liver). If at any stage along the gut there is a dysfunction, then no matter how good our diet is, it won't  go to produce energy, rebuild, repair, or produce good function in our body.

Common symptoms of gut dysfunction, are-
rumbling tummy
bad breath
excess gas
and many more.

My top tips for better Gut function are -
-Chew your food more than you think necessary
-Don't drink with your meal
-If you know a food irritates you even only in a small way (eg. a runny nose), eat it only 1 or 2 times per week.
-Pick food that grows in the ground or on trees, and limit those that have labels on their packaging that you can't understand!
-Dairy, and gluten containing grains are the most commonly reactive foods in the UK, and also the most popular!

For a free 15 min no obligation consultation - please call 01223 315400.

Damien Clements - Integrated Health Practitioner

World Water Day 2012

   © Swiatek Wojtkowiak -

  © Anne Wangalachi/CIMMYT

Thursday 15 March 2012

Mothers Day Gift Vouchers Available

Give the gift of RELAXATION this Mothers Day!
A gift voucher is the perfect gift for your Mum this Sunday allowing her to choose from a long list of therapies from one of our qualified therapists here at
The Therapy Room Cambridge.

For more information call 01223 315400 or
email [email protected] 

Wednesday 14 March 2012

Today is No Smoking Day!

Take the leap, quit for good. Here are some useful links to help to make the final decision to quit for good.

Maybe you've tried all the conventional methods of giving up smoking. Here at The Therapy Room we take a more holistic approach, have you ever thought about hypnotherapy, acupunture or even counselling?

The non-smoking day charity -


Complementary therapy guide -

Don't delay, book an appointment with one of our integrated practitioners today and feel the benefits becoming a non-smoker!

Good Luck!

01223 315400
[email protected]

Tuesday 13 March 2012

Life Principle 3 - Hydration

Our bodies are made up of about 75-80% water, and it is involved in many functions. If we are not optimally hydrated we may not be aware of it, as our adrenals, kidneys, and colon help to keep water flowing inside us. 

This comes at a cost though - The first place the body steals water from when you are dehydrated is the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord) and colon. If the central nervous system looses water, one might feel anxious and wired, and if the colon is being robbed of water we can become constipated, and cannot properly detoxify, so we become toxic.

Metabolism (the use of energy to produce life in our cells) is vital for health, and along with sugar, water in optimal amounts is essential for optimal metabolism and detoxification. We need about 4oz (120 ml) of water per hour for optimal metabolism. This is good quality water, not soft drinks, alcohol, tea or coffee.

Good quality water with adequate minerals to help it to be absorbed in the body is best obtained from using a reverse osmosis filter, and adding a pinch of celtic sea salt per litre. Store and drink from glass bottle or glasses, not plastic. If you question this recommendation, ask for a water test from your local water provider - you'll be surprised at what you will find!

My last tip is to 'eat' your water - swill it around your mouth before swallowing, as this signals to your body that water is on the way the way, and directs it to where it needs to go, so you stay hydrated and healthy.

Damien Clements - Integrated Health Practitioner

Monday 5 March 2012

Life Principle 2 - Breathing

One of the most vital components to good health. Shallow poor quality breathing leads to a toxic body and chronic fatigue, tight neck muscles, lower back pain, headaches and many more dysfunctions within the body. Learn how to maximize breath for optimal health and vitality.

Stand up and take a deep breath in, whilst looking in a mirror. Where does the breath come from - chest, shoulders, neck tummy?

Now try and breath from your tummy only, help yourself by putting on hand on your chest (it shouldn't move) and one on your tummy. Does that feel difficult?

We are designed to take a breath in using the muscles of the diaphragm primarily (just  above your tummy) and the muscles between the ribs and above the shoulders should only get involved when we are exercising hard. 

Retraining to breath in the way we are designed will help every cell in your body work better.

Spend 5 minutes every day, lying on your back with your knees bent, just breathing in and out through your nose (or through pursed lips), just from your tummy. 

It is worth writing down a small record of all the little niggles, like back and joint pain, headache, before you start doing this, revisit this list each week and check off any that aren't there any more - you'll be surprised!

Damien Clements - Integrated Health Practitioner

Thursday 1 March 2012

It’s Self-Injury Awareness Day...

Not many people know that, as well as being St David’s day, March the 1st, is Self-Injury Awareness Day. The chances are that you know somebody who self-harms or has done so in the past, whether you are aware of it or not.
Self-harm can affect anyone regardless of age, gender, religion, race and culture - it is certainly not something that only affects teenage girls.
Statistics show that around 1 per cent of the population self-harm, with women more likely to do so than men. Recent British research suggests that 1 in 10 teenagers have self-injured, although it is important to remember that people who self-harm can be of all ages and do come from all walks of life

What is self-injury?

Self-injury, also often called self-harm, can be described as an act of non-suicidal, yet very deliberate damage against oneself. This is often done in order to cope with an overwhelming situation or emotion. It is not usually just a one off occurrence, but a repeated and regular behaviour. People who self-harm use many different ways to injure themselves: cutting and burning tend to be the most common forms of self-harm, but there are many others, too. Some people will deliberately hit their head; they might scratch or pick their skin, bite themselves, pull their own hair, interfere with wound healing, or they might use asphyxiation or take poisonous substances without suicidal intent. Not all self-injury results in physical marks or scars. Also, the physical severity of the injury does not usually relate to the amount of emotional distress that a person is in, although often an individual’s self-harming can become worse over time.

Why do people self-harm?

Although self-injury as such is not suicidal behaviour, it can lead to hospitalisation or in extreme cases, even death. Also, self-harming is not a condition in itself, but it is usually a symptom of underlying issues and it can also often be an indicator for other underlying mental health problems, such as depression. This doesn’t mean that people who suffer from depression self-harm, it tends to be the other way round: we know that people who self-harm are usually more likely to suffer from depression, anxiety and lower self-esteem than those who do not. As mentioned earlier, self-injury as such doesn’t usually start out as suicidal behaviour, however, it may lead to future suicidal thinking and some people who self-injure may indeed go on to attempt suicide in the future.

People self-harm for a variety of reasons, which are as varied as people themselves. Very often however, people who self-harm say that they do so in order to release tension and to cope with emotional trauma and overwhelming psychological pain. Some people state that they self-harm out of the need to gain control over painful emotions or situations where they feel very much out of control. Yet others report that they self-harm as a form self-punishment. In either case, it is impossible to generalise the reasons why people self-injure, and often the reasons and their behaviour can also change over time.

How can you help somebody who self-harms?

If you know somebody who self-harms, remember to treat them with the same kind of respect and compassion you would have for anybody else who is going through an emotionally difficult time.
Remember that self-injury is often a coping mechanism that people use to deal with emotional stress; it is not just a means of acting out or attention seeking and because of this, people cannot just stop self-injuring until they have alternative coping mechanisms in place. The road to recovery can be a very long and difficult one, and telling someone to stop self-injuring or asking them to make promises will most likely only make things worse.

How can counselling and psychotherapy help?

A good first step can often be to initially find an alternative to a person’s current behaviour that isn’t as physically damaging as the current one. For example, sometimes people who have previously cut themselves start using rubber bands to snap at their skin; this of course is only the substitution of one painful action for another and as such doesn’t achieve much. However, as the sessions progress, therapy can uncover the reasons as to why a person self-harms and teach them different ways of coping with a specific emotion or situation instead. Even where a person has been self-harming for years, therapy is usually immensely successful and can very soon lead a person to take the small steps necessary to change how they have so far been dealing with their difficulties.
Also, remember that if a family member or loved one self-harms, you might find it beneficial to talk to a therapist yourself to help you better cope with the situation.

About the author:

Christine Schneider is BACP accredited and UKRCP registered independent counsellor and psychotherapist, providing therapy for individuals, couples, families and small groups. She also provides supervision services for other counsellors, therapists and those in the caring professions.
Christine works mainly in private practice at The Therapy Room on Oxford Road in Cambridge and also provides corporate services as well as online and telephone counselling via Cambridge Therapy Centre. In order to book an appointment either contact reception at the Therapy Room, or if you would like to talk to Christine directly, please go to

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